We just spent a marvelous week in the windy city. I believe I am now at 28 states with 22 more to go to complete my bucket list of visiting all 50.
is an amazing city filled with great restaurants, a drop dead gorgeous skyline,
friendly people, history and culture. It
was an inspirational vacation on many levels and will share some of the
highlights for my weekly inspirations.
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Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Avocado Vinaigrette
4 Cups Shredded
Sprouts (About 16 sprouts)
1/3 Cup Toasted Pinenuts
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded
Use a mandolin or very sharp knife to slice the
super thin. Add to a large bowl along
with pinenuts and parmesan cheese.
1 Cup Croutons – use a baguette and cut into ½ cubes
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
½ teaspoon Garlic powder
Add all ingredients to a bowl and toss well until all is coated. Spread over a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Lightly sprinkle with salt right after removing from the oven and let cool.
1 Ripe avocado
4 Tablespoon Olive Oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
3 Peppadew peppers, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon peppadew juice
8 to 10 Grinds fresh pepper
Add all ingredients except peppadew peppers, to a food processor and pulse until creamy. Place into a bowl and mix in the peppadew peppers. Taste and adjust seasonings to your desired levels.
Add the vinaigrette to the bowl of shaved Brussels sprouts and toss well. Serve individual portions and sprinkle croutons on top for a finishing touch. Inspired from RPM Italian in Chicago!
RPM Italian was recommended by several individuals and is co-owned by Bill and Giuliana Rancic. He won the first season of The Apprentice and she is a news host on E! News. They met, fell in love, married and now are restaurateurs. It is stylish, glamorous, sophisticated and has a particular energetic vibe. The cocktails are a spin on the classics and the food is certainly delicious. First glance, the menu looks simple but the dishes are flavorful, inventive and well executed. We particularly loved the Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Avocado – so much that I came home and created my version of this tasty salad. If in
put RPM on your list!
The word “consistency” was written on the white board in the kitchen. We were lucky enough to have the table right in front of the open kitchen. Chef Duffy runs an expert operation at Grace – hence the namesake – everything is done with Grace. From the canapés that arrive in synchronicity to the 8 courses that proceed after to the perfectly paired wines to the after meal "one on one" kitchen tour - this restaurant is on its way to perfection. Whether you choose the “flora” or “fauna” tasting menu, the price is the same and worth every dollar you spend. Someday sooner than later I predict, this will be a multiple Michelin Star restaurant and almost impossible to secure a reservation. This restaurant is not one to be missed!
Longman & Eagle
If you are into a hip restaurant, then don’t miss eating at Longman & Eagle located in the newly cool
Square neighborhood outside of downtown Chicago. Oh, if you love whiskey they have 150 to
choose from along with other interesting libations. The food is imaginative, tasty, extremely appetizing
and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. A
bit off the beaten path if you are staying in downtown Chicago
but completely worth the cab ride there to have a great meal. We had Mr. Toads
Wild Ride cab driver and certainly needed a drink when we walked through the
door. Thank goodness the selections were bountiful. By the way, don’t miss
ordering the Warm Cheese Gourgeres with Gruyere Mornay Sauce that oozes onto
your plate. Simply out of this world
Trump International Hotel and Tower
The Donald certainly knows how to build, execute and provide the “wow factor” to his customers. From the moment you walk into the lobby and inhale the beautiful scents emanating from the multiple burning candles to the warm hand towels offered while checking in that sit a top a marble tray with a fresh orchid to the high level of service provided by the person who delivers your bags to your room, we knew we were in for an opulent stay at the Trump Hotel in Chicago. I even had Bill Rancic walk right by me while we were checking in - kept thinking he looked familiar. Not much of a "star searcher" but it was fun to see him - he is certainly tall.
We had a 700 square foot suite on the 25th floor (actual photo of our room) that overlooked the city and down to Navy Pier. The room had a full kitchen with sub-zero fridge, nespresso machine and even china. Oh the bathroom had a television built into the mirror and you had a pillow menu to choose the perfect pillow to be delivered to your room. Donald – what haven’t you thought about? The Terrace at Trump on the 16th floor was a frequent jaunt for an afternoon cocktail that also provided an outstanding view, cool tunes and great people watching. Highly recommend you book your next vacation at a Trump Hotel – worth every dollar.
The Hancock Tower is a must see iconic building at night. You fly up in an elevator to the 95th floor to the Signature Room for a drink or two. I recommend the Pear Martini. You are treated to a view that is simply priceless and amazing to look at while you sip on your libation.
Ralph Lauren Restaurant & Bar
If you are a Ralph Lauren fan, this is the store for you. We found out that this is the largest store in
and even includes a restaurant. Within
the restaurant is a small intimate bar that is encased in rich wood and the
wall behind the bar is stacked full of any libation your heart desires. We enjoyed an afternoon cocktail. Who gets to normally do that during the
week? Not us, we are usually working. What a special treat!
Architectural Boat Tour
This is a tremendous way to capture the beauty of the
architecture while strolling down the river and getting a guided tour of the
history of Chicago. Eventually the boat makes its way to the
expansive lake and your view of the city becomes even grander and you can
really comprehend the size and scope of this amazing city. Loved every moment!
in New York but I would garner
that Chicago's Magnificent Mile is a close second. You have
Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Burberry and almost any other designer
you love can be found here. I was in awe
of the planter boxes that had the most beautiful flowers and greenery in each
one. They were so lush and eye catching
and reminded me of what you might see strolling the streets of London. What a fun day of shopping we had!